It was actually harder to see the hares in their summer brown-grey coats than it was to see them in their white winter coats on the snow. We think this was because in the winter many of the hares tend to sit on top of the snow, so you can see the shape of them from a fair distance away and slowly get closer. This time, they blended in so well with the moorland and often they were actually underneath the heather, or in burrows. Many times we didn’t spot a hare only to have it jump to life when we were only a few feet away, then it would dash off. After a few days our spotting skills improved.
The weather was fairly mixed. We had high winds for several days, with a few wet days, and we were praying for calmer weather. However when one particularly calm day brought thousands of midges, even on the hill tops, we were soon praying for the wind to blow again. Fortunately the breezy weather returned, so we didn’t have to donate too much blood to our photographic cause.
Some of the hares were the same colour as the surrounding moorland, making them hard to spot
Some of the hares preferred the longer grass and were easy to spot as long as they sat up
The easiest hares to spot were those that ran along the mountain ridges
Occasionally a hare just popped out of the heather and seemed transfixed by us
Although it was summer, you wouldn’t have known - wooly hats & gloves were still needed
We found some of the hares in the same place on several days
- this confiding hare had a deep burrow in the heather
and allowed us to watch behaviour such as washing & stretching
Another hare with a burrow in the shorter heather
The hare spent most of the day dozing just beside its burrow,
then venturing out to feed for very short periods
Most of the hares we saw were very shy and ran off before we even spotted them
A few of them actually approached us, trying to figure out what we were
Sometimes they came so close we could hardly fit them in the frame !
We got a lot of inquisitive looks that hares do so well
This was the youngest hare we saw - practicing “the look”
This hare was dozing on its bed of heather
We had a lot of fun spending time with these beautiful creatures
- we’re looking forward to our next trip here in the New Year.